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10 August 2003, 01:05 pm
USA Dominant in J24 Whilst Scheidt Wins Laser
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Pan American Games
Andreas Bay

Back on Andres Bay after the previous day's break in the Pan Am Games action, the J/24 team from USA posted a 2-1 to get to the top of the scoreboard and put their closest competitor, Brazil, a point behind them in the overall standings.
After a second-place finish in the first race, the Americans were tied on points with the Brazilians. They were second rounding the first weather mark and held their position around the course, keeping the Brazilians directly behind them. An important victory in race two also came packaged with the Brazilians finishing right behind and gave the Americans their needed edge in the overall scoring.

"We stuck with our own game plan," said Crocker, "which was to really work our boat speed and let other people make the mistakes. Everyone did his job 100% from start to finish. We had some fantastic starts and really hit our stride with downwind performance. We are exactly where we want to be."

For a fourth day of racing, large swells had to be navigated and large pressure holes had to be considered. Sailors also had to look up, as giant cloud formations interrupted blue skies and brought with them dramatic shifts and sometimes rain.

"During one race, the wind was 14 knots before the start and then fell to two knots under the clouds," said Lanee BUTLER (USA). The Mistral Women's contender today came closer to claiming a gold medal by posting two victories for a commanding 11-point lead on the fleet. A bad start in the first race did not shake her concentration, as she worked to catch Canada and Cuba on the first downwind leg after they had rounded ahead of her at the top mark. In her second race, Butler led the entire way around the course.

Dominant Laser Sailor Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) currently leads his class and continued his winning ways yesterday with another two first place finishes. Discarding a first place he has now won the regatta with one day to spare.

Racing resumes today and concludes Sunday, when medals will be determined in all classes. Two races minimum are planned for each day. Additional information is available on the event website at the address below.
Barby MacGowan (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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